Module code: ENGM255

Module Overview

Automatic control is an essential technology to maintain safe, economic and environmentally benign operation of manufacturing processes. Process control is increasingly needed and challenging because modern plants have become more difficult to operate as the result of complex and highly integrated processes. This module aims to provide an introduction to process control, balancing theoretical and practical aspects. The module will review basic concept in control, including dynamics, feedback and stability, based on which more advanced and modern techniques will be introduced. It will integrate computer experiments, which closely simulate the operation of process plants, to enhance the understanding of process control principles.

Module provider

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Module Leader

CECELJA Franjo (Chst Chm Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 73

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 11

Laboratory Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

  • Introduction to process operation hierarchy; the concept of control and system dynamics; classical feedback control and PID

  • Feedforward and ratio control

  • Enhanced single-loop control

  • Multiloop and multivariate control

  • Batch process control

  • Real-time optimisation

  • Model predictive control


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 50
Examination 2 hrs Invigilated Exam 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the full range of learning outcomes though examination and one individual piece of coursework.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·   Coursework: design of a single loop and a multi-input-multi-output controller – 50% (learning outcomes assessed 1-7, a, b, c, d)

·   Unseen written examination – 50% (learning outcomes assessed 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, a, c)


Formative assessment

·         None


  • Verbal feedback during the computer lab based problem solving sessions (learning outcomes 1-7, a,c,d)

  • Written feedback on the coursework (learning outcomes 1-7, a-d)

Module aims

  • An understanding of the principles of automatic process operation
  • A knowledge of the analytic tools for analysing process dynamics
  • An understanding of the principles of process control
  • An understanding of the conventional control technologies
  • A knowledge of the design methods for process controllers
  • An understanding of how controllers' performance is evaluated

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Understand the key concepts of process control technology K
2 Develop control-oriented process models KC
3 Carry out analysis of process dynamics KC
4 Design controllers to maintain optimal process operation under various disturbances KC
5 Understand the difference between analogue and digital control systems KC
6 Understand the need to control multiple process variables in a complex manufacturing process KC
7 Integrate controllers with higher-level objectives to realise optimal process operation in a hierarchical manner KCP
8 Analysis and visualisation of data T
9 Technical report writing T
10 Reviewing, assessing, and critical thinking T
11 Use of simulation software T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Cover in lectures the necessary fundamental knowledge and analysis of control problems;

  • Allow student to consolidate and apply understanding through computer lab based problem sessions and associated coursework.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures

  • Computer lab based problem solving sessions

  • Independent learning


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM255

Other information

In line with Surrey’s Curriculum Framework, we are committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module contributes to the five pillars in the following ways:



Most of tutorial sessions and the coursework are designed and positioned here such to provide students with and expose them to a more authentic (real world) problem solving experience towards at the end of their programme. Through this, students will gain experience of report writing for specific audiences/stakeholders, and ability to demonstrate capability in problem solving directly applicable to a wide range of sectors, which could be cited in interviews and applications to show students’ experience of applying scholarly knowledge to another sector.


Digital capabilities

Significant level of digital skill is a clear output of this module which students gain through a direct and indirect exposure:

  • Digital capability gained through a direct exposure includes the use of MatLab software for programming and simulation and hence solving process control problems. During every tutorial students use MatLab in computer laboratory gaining experience in running the software but also in using computers in more general terms;
  • Digital capability gained through an indirect exposure includes teaching materials and key content available in multimedia forms through the Virtual Learning Environment Surreylearn.


Global and Cultural Capabilities

Engineering in general and Process Control in particular are global synonyms and the tools and skills used on this module can be used internationally and multiculturally. Students learn about generic engineering and professional code of conduct and the importance of respect in teamwork. Students learn to work together in groups with other students from different backgrounds to solve a problem. This module allows students to develop skills that will allow them to develop applications with global reach and collaborate with their peers around the world.



Students will complete this module with social, ethical and contextually aware knowledge. This module has gender inequality (in the broadest and most inclusive use of the term) at its core, aligned with the UN’s gender equality sustainability goal. It also seeks to ensure community sustainability through the knowledge, skills and awareness students will have upon completion of the module.


Resourcefulness and resilience

This module directly contributes to the educational elements of resourcefulness and resilience as students are honing their autonomous learning to a sophisticated and advanced level. Throughout the module, from concept of formulating the problem to implementation of tools and finding solutions, students will be highly independent, yet supported by their supervisor in the course of tutorials. Students will gain particular skills in informed decision making as this is the core nature of the module. They will have to problem solve, navigate ethical considerations and consider their arguments and findings in context. Within a network of support, students will further develop the extent to which they are independent and resourceful learners with a great deal of confidence in conducting and leading independent work towards solution.


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.